ROBERT’S RETURN IS BRUCIE BONUS
HULL manager Steve Bruce felt Robert Snodgrass showed his side what they had been missing after scoring the only goal in their third-round win over Brighton.
Snodgrass gave Hull the lead in the 40th minute when he scored from the penalty spot to noth up his first goal of the season.
Snodgrass had begun the season late because of a long-term knee injury and was given a rare start by Bruce.The winger repaid his manager with a cool finish from the spot after the penalty was awarded for Lewis Dunk’s trip on Harry Maguire.
Bruce had made changes as both he and opposite number Chris Hughton kept one eye on their respective challenges for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.
Hull could have added to their lead but both Ryan Taylor and Sone Aluko were denied by Brighton goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, who prevented his side from suffering a heavier defeat.
And the visitors, who started new signings Liam Ridgewell and Richie Towell, could have snatched an undeserved equaliser in stoppage time but Andrew Crofts’ shot hit the bar.
Bruce said of Snodgrass, who was injured at the start of last season: “We’ve seen what we’ve missed. To have the injury he has had 18 months ago is a big blow.”
Bruce also said he felt Hull had been relegated from the Premier League because they had been forced to do without players of the quality of Snodgrass.
“I’ve said repeatedly one of the reasons why we are not in the big league is the loss of our big players,” said Bruce.
“We’ve seen Snoddy produce a performance to show us what we’ve missed. A big pat on the back to him and I have to say to my medical staff as well. It’s been one of these complicated injuries. He has been terrific.”
Bruce praised his team after making seven changes to the side which beat QPR last time out.
He said:“The only ones I kept were the back four. I made seven changes and it shows the strength in depth.
“We have had 18 attempts on goal to their two. However, they’ve hit the bar in the last minute.
“The only disappointing thing was that final touch. The performance warranted more goals.”
Bruce will have to wait for an update on forward Adama Diomande, who suffered a groin injury during what was his first start for Hull.
Meanwhile, Hughton admitted he had gone into the game expecting to make changes after taking the opportunity to give several players a rest ahead of the Championship game at Rotherham on Tuesday.
He said:“We knew we were going to make changes. We knew they were going to make changes.
“They were fortunate to be able to make some changes and be able to bring in some Premier League quality. We left behind four or five players that had played almost every minute of every game the season.
“I thought that we defended very well. We had two clear-cut chances. I thought we had to defend very, very well, particularly as the game opened up.
“They had a bit more pace and quality compared to what we had.”
Hughton’s side had come into the tie without a win in six Championship matches and that led to him shuffling his pack.
“I had to look at it as an opportunity to rest some,” he added. “Players will come back in and hopefully they will freshen us up a bit.”
SPOT ON: Hull City midfielder Robert Snodgrass converts the winning penalty
STAR MAN ISAAC HAYDEN